Industrialisation and Urbanisation contributed to poverty in Britain. During the 1800’s and 1900’s Britain’s people faced a change in their life styles. The Industrial revolution heralded an end to the Agrarian country way of life that many of Britain’s people lived by, and brought about the beginning of an Industrial nation. The beginning of the Industrial revolution had many factors but the main factor had to be the Enclosure’s act. The Enclosure’s act meant that plots of land that were used for growing crops or rearing cattle could be bought by wealthy business men and used for the growth of industry. This lead to the movement of big companies with large working equipment in to these towns and villages, creating many low wage, but skilled, jobs. For example, a large loom would not fit in to a workers home, but it would fit into a large factory. With this movement any one that was self sufficient before the act was passed had to move in to the towns and villages near to them to find work and housing. The men from the farms would travel to the towns and villages to find a job in any profession they could, and when they found a job, the commute would be too great to travel daily and so they would have to stay close by, usually in accommodation that employers made available to them. With the men away from home the women and children would rely on them sending money back to them to ensure they had the resources to continue living. With time advances in technology were getting better and better. Better ways of transportation were introduced such as: canals and canal boats, tarmac laying for cars, docks and ships and more frequent trains. With these advances businesses began introducing bigger factories to towns and in larger factories there were larger pieces of equipment. This meant that more tradesmen would have to move to the areas that offered work to keep up with demand. With the laying of tarmac came an increase in farming vehicles. All farm work that was once done by farm owners with their small pre-dated farming tools could now be done with large farming vehicles pushing the last self sufficient families out of the country side. All these advances also meant that the cost of transporting goods was significantly decreased, saving business men a great deal of money. With this money they would expand their business or even build larger factories to employ more tradesmen from the surrounding area.
Urbanisation became the way of life for most of the British population. The ability to be self sufficient disappeared with the growth of industry and advances in technology meaning that those who were once self sufficient had to become dependent on employers or, if they were unable to find work, workhouses. This put a great pressure on the men of the families that they had never seen before. They had to work to a certain standard in a given time whereas before they could work to their own pace. The jobs that they found in these urban areas were often of poor quality with a poor wage. This changed Britain forever. It turned Britain’s people from being ruralised and self sufficient to being urbanised and heavily dependent on big companies.
Government responses to poverty changed over time in many different ways. In the early 1820’s an attempt was made to abolish all out door relief and the government put deterrent workhouses in place to try to discourage people from applying for poor relief. This scheme was remarkably successful but it did not solve the problem of the poor, it just pushed it to one side. This method of poor “relief” showed that the government’s attitude toward the poor at this point in time was uncaring and all they wanted to do was conceal the problems they were faced with rather than spend the money necessary to try to improve the lives of the poor. In the 19th century Reverend Thomas Malthus believed that poverty was an inevitability and that it was a mistake to help the poor. He believed…